Slavery of Mapuches

Slavery of Mapuches was commonplace in 17th-century Chile and a direct consequence of the Arauco War. When Spanish conquistadors initially subdued indigenous inhabitants of Chile there was no slavery but a form servitude called encomienda. However, this form of forced labour was harsh and many Mapuche would end up dying in the Spanish gold mines in the 16th century.[1]

Beginning of formal slavery[edit]

Formal slavery of indigenous people was prohibited by the Spanish Crown. The 1598–1604 Mapuche uprising that ended with the Destruction of the Seven Cities made the King of Spain in 1608 declare slavery legal for those Mapuches caught in war.[2] Rebelling Mapuches were considered Christian apostates and could therefore be enslaved according to the church teachings of the day.[3] This legal change formalized Mapuche slavery that was already occurring at the time, with captured Mapuches being treated as property in the way that they were bought and sold among the Spanish. Legalisation made Spanish slave raiding increasingly common in the Arauco War.[2] Mapuche slaves were exported north as far as La Serena and Lima.[4]

Spanish slave raiding played a major role in unleashing the Mapuche uprising of 1655. This uprising took place in a context of increasing Spanish hostilities on behalf of maestre de campo Juan de Salazar who used the Army of Arauco to capture Mapuches and sell them into slavery.[5] In 1654 a large slave-hunting expedition against the Cuncos ended in a complete disaster at the Battle of Río Bueno.[6][7] This setback did not stop the Spanish who under the leadership of Salazar organized a new expedition the summer of 1655.[8] Salazar himself is said to have profited greatly from Mapuche slave trade and being brother-in-law of governor Antonio de Acuña Cabrera allowed him to exert influence in favour of his military campaigns.[5][6] Analysing the situation in the 1650s the Real Audiencia of Santiago opined that slavery of Mapuches was one of the reasons of constant state of war between the Spanish and the Mapuches.[9]

Much like the Spanish Mapuches had also captured Spanish, often women, trading their ownership among them.[10] Indeed, with the Destruction of the Seven Cities Mapuches are reported to have taken 500 Spanish women captive, holding them as slaves.[10] It was not uncommon for captive Spanish women to have changed owner several times.[10]

Slavery for Mapuches "caught in war" was abolished in 1683 after decades of legal attempts by the Spanish Crown to suppress it. By that time free mestizo labour had become significantly cheaper than ownership of slaves which made historian Mario Góngora in 1966 conclude that economic factors were behind the abolition.[4]

This 1608 decree that legalized slavery was abused as Spanish settlers in Chiloé Archipelago used it also to launch slave raids against groups such the Chono of northwestern Patagonia who had never been under Spanish rule and never rebelled.[11]

Decline of Mapuche slavery[edit]

Philip III of Spain successor Philip IV of Spain changed course in the latter part of his reign and began restricting Mapuche slavery.[12] Philip IV died without freeing the indigenous slaves of Chile but his wife Mariana of Austria, serving as regent, and his son Charles II of Spain engaged in a broad anti-slavery campaign throughout the Spanish Empire.[13][14]

The anti-slavery campaign began with an order by Mariana of Austria in 1667 freeing all the Indian slaves in Peru that had been captured in Chile.[15] Her order was met with disbelief and dismay in Peru.[16] Without exception she freed the Indian slaves of Mexico in 1672.[17] After receiving a plea from the Pope she freed the slaves of the southern Andes.[18] On 12 June 1679 Charles II issued a general declaration freeing all indigenous slaves in Spanish America. In 1680 this was included in the Recopilación de las leyes de Indias, a codification of the laws of Spanish America.[19] The Caribes, "cannibals," were the only exception.[20] Governor Juan Enríquez of Chile resisted strongly, writing protests to the king and not publishing the decrees freeing Indian slaves.[21] The royal anti-slavery crusade did not end indigenous slavery in Spain's American possessions, but, in addition to resulting in the freeing of thousands of slaves, it ended the involvement and facilitation by government officials of slaving by the Spanish; purchase of slaves remained possible but only from indigenous slaver such as the Caribs of Venezuela or the Comanches.[22][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bengoa 2003, pp. 252–253.
  2. ^ a b Valenzuela Márquez 2009, p. 231–233
  3. ^ Foerster, Rolf (1993). Introducción a la religiosidad mapuche (in Spanish). Editorial Universitaria. p. 21.
  4. ^ a b Valenzuela Márquez 2009, pp. 234–236
  5. ^ a b Barros Arana 2000, p. 346.
  6. ^ a b Barros Arana 2000, p. 347.
  7. ^ Pinochet et al., 1997, p. 79.
  8. ^ Barros Arana 2000, p. 348.
  9. ^ Barros Arana 2000, p. 342.
  10. ^ a b c Guzmán, Carmen Luz (2013). "Las cautivas de las Siete Ciudades: El cautiverio de mujeres hispanocriollas durante la Guerra de Arauco, en la perspectiva de cuatro cronistas (s. XVII)" [The captives of the Seven Cities: The captivity of hispanic-creole women during the Arauco's War, from the insight of four chroniclers (17th century)]. Intus-Legere Historia (in Spanish). 7 (1): 77–97. doi:10.15691/07176864.2014.0.94 (inactive 31 December 2022).{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of December 2022 (link)
  11. ^ Urbina Burgos, Rodolfo (2007). "El pueblo chono: de vagabundo y pagano a cristiano y sedentario mestizado". Orbis incognitvs: avisos y legados del Nuevo Mundo (PDF) (in Spanish). Huelva: Universidad de Huelva. pp. 325–346. ISBN 9788496826243.
  12. ^ Philip requested a reassessment of the imperial policies in Chile and expressed his belief that slave taking had become the main obstacle to peace with the Mapuche Indians." Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (p. 128). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
  13. ^ "...the king died before he could set the Indians of Chile free and discharge his royal conscience. But Philip was not alone in trying to make things right. His wife, Mariana, was thirty years younger than he, every bit as pious, and far more determined. The crusade to free the Indians of Chile, and those in the empire at large, gained momentum during Queen Mariana’s regency, from 1665 to 1675, and culminated in the reign of her son Charles II. Alarmed by reports of large slaving grounds on the periphery of the Spanish empire, they used the power of an absolute monarchy to bring about the immediate liberation of all indigenous slaves. Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (p. 128). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
  14. ^ [They] took on deeply entrenched slaving interests, deprived the empire of much-needed revenue, and risked the very stability of distant provinces to advance their humanitarian agenda. They waged a war against Indian bondage that raged as far as the islands of the Philippines, the forests of Chile, the llanos (grasslands) of Colombia and Venezuela, and the deserts of Chihuahua and New Mexico. Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (pp. 128-129). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
  15. ^ Queen Mariana brought renewed energy to the abolitionist crusade. If we had to choose an opening salvo, it would be the queen’s 1667 order freeing all Chilean Indians who had been taken to Peru. Her order was published in the plazas of Lima and required all Peruvian slave owners to "turn their Indian slaves loose at the first opportunity". Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (p. 136). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
  16. ^ When the viceroy of Peru learned of this order, he could not hide his disbelief. Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (p. 136). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
  17. ^ In 1672 she freed the Indian slaves of Mexico, irrespective of their provenance or the circumstances of their enslavement. Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (p. 136). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
  18. ^ [she] waited only a few weeks to respond, banning all forms of slavery in Chile. They extended the same prohibition to the Calchaquí Valleys on the other side of the Andes. The campaign to liberate the Indians had kicked into high gear. Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (pp. 136-137). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition
  19. ^ Finally, on 12 June 1679, he issued a decree of continental scope: "No Indians of my Western Indies, Islands, and Mainland of the Ocean Sea, under any circumstance or pretext can be held as slaves; instead they will be treated as my vassals...." Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (p. 137). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
  20. ^ As it turned out, they excluded two groups from their broad royal protection: the inhabitants of the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, "who have taken up the sect of Muhamad and are against our Church and empire", and the Carib Indians, "who attack our settlements and eat human flesh". Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (pp. 137-138). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
  21. ^ Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (p. 142-144). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
  22. ^ "The crusade also had a chilling effect on European slavers. For all of his reluctance to free the slaves, Governor Enríquez of Chile did issue orders prohibiting soldiers from launching slave raids and taking Indian captives after 1676." Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (pp. 146-147). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
  23. ^ Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (p. 177). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Barros Arana, Diego (2000) [1884]. Historia General de Chile (in Spanish). Vol. IV (2 ed.). Santiago, Chile: Editorial Universitaria. ISBN 956-11-1535-2.
  • Bengoa, José (2003). Historia de los antiguos mapuches del sur (in Spanish). Santiago: Catalonia. ISBN 978-956-8303-02-0.
  • Pinochet Ugarte, Augusto; Villaroel Carmona, Rafael; Lepe Orellana, Jaime; Fuente-Alba Poblete, J. Miguel; Fuenzalida Helms, Eduardo (1997). Historia militar de Chile (in Spanish) (3rd ed.). Biblioteca Militar.
  • Valenzuela Márquez, Jaime (2009). "Esclavos mapuches. Para una historia del secuestro y deportación de indígenas en la colonia". In Gaune, Rafael; Lara, Martín (eds.). Historias de racismo y discriminación en Chile (in Spanish).